Every November people pull out turkeys and pumpkins to prepare for a day of feasting, family and football.
Nostalgia and gratitude surround the Thanksgiving holiday as many travel cross-country to spend time with loved ones and attempt to remember all the things they have forgotten to be thankful for throughout the the year.
Despite the stress of finals and the demands of finishing the semester well, the Optimist finds it equally important to stop and reflect on all that we are thankful for as well.
Freedom of speech
As journalists, the first amendment directly affects our work. Given the right to freedom of speech, we are able to write stories objectively and honestly. Fortunately, the Optimist doesn’t deal with the censorship that many newspaper staffs experience in countries where state-owned media is an ever-present reality. We are not under the watchful eye of a controlling government. Rather, the staff is grateful for the ability to freely report the news and know that our profession is used as accountability and a voice of truth to society.
The printing press
Moveable type allowed news to be spread quickly to a vast audience in a way the world hadn’t previously known and sparked the concept of mass media. The Optimist prints thousands of newspapers a week, and this is small in comparison to most professional publications. We are thankful for Gutenberg’s 15th century invention because, without the printing press, our staff would have a much slower means of communicating the news to our readers.
The JMC staff
We are blessed to have staff members who answer our endless questions and meet a variety of our needs, an Optimist adviser who empowers us to be great journalists and professors who not only develop us as writers but as individuals. The Optimist staff is surrounded by people who give much of their time to make us a successful student media. These people are not merely teachers but, in many cases, have become mentors. They take time to build relationships with us, they invite us into their homes and they often feed us. This is no small thing for poor college students.
Being able to see and hold the result of our work twice a week when the paper comes out is gratifying, but like any work, the Optimist adds extra responsibility, duty and stress to its staff members. We are grateful that Christmas break is close at hand which means only four issues left to publish this semester. Though we will miss the occasional all-nighters in the office and having to constantly arrange interviews with a variety of people on campus, Christmas break is much needed and much anticipated by the Optimist staff.